Home Decor, DIY, Interior Design

Using Color in Home Design

Saturday: Home Decor and DIY Projects

Using Color in Home Design

Color Wheel (shade, hue, tint, and complement tint)

No matter what your house looks like (no matter what style your house is) one of the best ways to customize and make your house your own is by introducing and using color.

The basis to all good interior design is color. It’s an art form to learn how to utilize color to set a mood and to provide visual interest. Color allows you to create a unique style.

Color allows us to create character and can be used to enhance the features that your house already possesses and to take away from the features we dislike.

Color can help bring more light into a space.

Color can create a sense of intimacy within a room.

Color invokes emotion because we all have emotional connections with certain colors. We all associate different colors with certain memories.

Consider different shades and tones of colors. Color doesn’t always have to be bright or bold. Adding soft pastel colors adds a stylish and subtle hint of color.

Consider the amount of natural light your room gets throughout the day.

Bring home paint chips and little sample cans when deciding on a new paint color. Paint chips will look different in a store under fluorescent lights then it will look in your specific space.

Dark colors can make a room look smaller and more intimate. Light colors will open up and make a room appear larger.

One popular theory used in home decorating is the 60-30-10 rule. 60% of the room (ex. walls) should be the primary color, 30% of the room (ex. upholstery) should be the secondary color, and 10% (ex. accent pieces) should be an accent color.

Another theory is 80% neutral colors and 20% brighter color elements (accent chair, pillows, throw blankets, lamps, rugs, a piece of furniture, or an accent wall).

Take clues about color combinations that work in nature. Spring colors are uplifting and lighter in color such as pinks, lilac, yellow while fall colors such as mustard yellow, burnt orange, and red are richer and darker.

Another theory is add some black accents (lampshades or picture frames) to help enhance the other colors in your space.

White can be used for freshness and to create a modern look. White can be used to balance out bright pops of color.

Black, grey, and white wheel as well as a Brown, beige, and cream wheel

Neutral tones

Enjoy the use of neutrals such as white, grey, black, brown, and beige. Neutral colors can be safe and they don’t have much personality or energy. Keep expensive purchases and difficult to change pieces in more neutral tones such as a couch, tile, or countertop choices. Add in bolder color choices in smaller doses and easy to change pieces such as accessories (pillows, vases, artwork, or an accent chair).

Neutral color choices

Consider the use of metals (often used on cabinet hardware, door handles, and light fixtures just to name a few). You can mix metals. Popular choices include: oil rubbed bronze, bronze, silver, platinum, chrome, brass, gold, and copper just to name a few.


Layer and utilize patterns to break up the color. Take your inspiration for color choices from large patterns such as rugs or draperies. Take your color inspiration from rugs or artwork. Consider incorporating different textures.

Color Wheel

Use a color wheel to help you decide on colors that look good together. Think about using color families such as blue which includes cobalt, navy, and turquoise.

Try a complimentary color scheme (colors that are across from each other on the wheel such as green and red, orange and purple, or yellow and blue).

Another option is analogous color scheme (colors that are next to each other on the wheel such as  orange and red, violet and blue, and green and yellow).

Analogous scheme and Complementary scheme

Consider whether you want to use warm and cool colors. Warm colors are stimulating, warming and are good for social rooms of the house such as the living room. Cool colors have a calming and cooling effect that are good private rooms such as the bedroom

Cool vs. Warm color wheel

Pick a color palette and stick with it: Repeat color schemes throughout your house especially in rooms that connect to create a cohesive look.

Look at classic combinations such as black and white with a pop of a bright color, blue especially navy with white, creamy yellow with a bright blue, chocolate-brown with pink or periwinkle.


Adding color to your space

Adding color to neutral spaces

Adding color to your room

Add color to a living room

Introducing color into your space

How to decorate with color


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